I wish I could say that our adoption journey got easier once we were matched to Dawit.
But I can’t. So I won’t.
It wasn’t long before we were face-to-face with the impossible. It turns out there was a chance Dawit would not meet the criteria set forth classifying him as an orphan making him ineligible for adoption even though all the policies and procedures were followed. In the eyes of the Ethiopian government, Dawit was an orphan with no known relative. In the eyes of the U.S. government…
For the next several months we would work like crazy to comply with the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service’s requests for further evidence of Dawit’s to verify Dawit’s orphan status. This was going to be an enormous obstacle for us to overcome. Eventually Dawit’s case would be moved up the chain of command to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for further review.
So we rallied the proverbial troops. We hired an Ethiopian investigator to assist us in confirming the details of Dawit’s story and attempt to locate his birth mother. We contacted our state representatives and senators hoping our legislators would be able to make some inquiries on our behalf, and we began conversations with a top-notch immigration lawyer to assist us in bringing Dawit home.
After we did all that, God happened.
The very next day Jaclyn called our case officer in Lee’s Summit hoping against hope for some good news. “Oh yeah,” the officer said, “I think I just approved your case. Let me check.” (Pause.) “Yes I sent your case to my supervisor this morning for approval.”
Less than a month after that phone conversation, Jaclyn and I packed up and boarded a plane for Ethiopia to meet our sweet boy for the first time. We spent 19 wonderful yet tiring days in Ethiopia sightseeing, enjoying Ethiopian hospitality and culture, and cherishing every moment with our sweet boy.
Life at home since we’ve been back has been good. Dawit is adjusting surprisingly well to his new home and family. I often joke he’s adjusting much better than we’re adjusting to being parents of four minis! Dawit is a fun and energetic toddler! He has an inquisitive spirit about him. He’s in to everything and he’s extremely bright. He loves hugs and kisses (and cars), and he brings so much joy to our lives.
We are extremely blessed to be part of his story.